A significant milestone was achieved on Friday as Nigeria, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Benin, and Guinea came together at the Abuja headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States to sign four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project, a monumental undertaking worth $30 billion.
Simultaneously, the project’s steering committee assembled at the ECOWAS headquarters to deliberate on the project’s progress and strategic direction.
The signing of the MoUs involved the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines of Morocco, the Société Nationale des Opérations Pétrolières of Cote d’Ivoire, the National Oil Company of Liberia, the Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures of Benin, and the Société Nationale des Pétroles of the Republic of Guinea.
These agreements, which follow similar ones inked with ECOWAS on September 15, 2022, Mauritania and Senegal on October 15, 2022, and The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Ghana on December 5, 2022, underscore the unwavering dedication of all parties involved to this strategically significant project.
Upon completion, the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project will not only facilitate the monetization of natural gas resources in the participating African nations but will also establish a new export route to Europe, providing an alternative avenue for trade and energy exchange.
“The project is worth about $30bn, and its impact on the African continent is going to be massive when completed,” the Commissioner, Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation, ECOWAS Commission, Sediko Douka, told journalists while speaking on the sidelines of the event.
He added, “We did feasibility studies by carrying out the technical, financial, economic, social, and environmental impact of the project. It is a project of more than 5,000km. Now we are handling the detailed engineering studies, and it shows that the project is viable in terms of bankability.
During the projected completion date of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project, the ECOWAS commissioner expressed that, given the complexity of such a venture, it would require considerable time. Feasibility studies have been successfully conducted, and future endeavors, such as road shows and roundtable forums, will be organized to attract potential investors.
Douka, emphasizing the benefits of the gas pipeline project, highlighted its role in strengthening regional electricity production and stimulating industrial and agricultural development. Furthermore, it will contribute to the energy transition by utilizing a cleaner energy source compared to other fossil fuels.
The MoUs were signed alongside the steering committee meeting of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project.
Representatives from ECOWAS and all participating countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco, were in attendance.
The project’s objectives encompass accelerating universal access to energy, improving living conditions, fostering economic integration within the sub-region, and addressing desertification.
These goals will be achieved by establishing a sustainable and dependable gas supply that aligns with Africa’s new environmental commitments while providing the continent with enhanced economic, political, and strategic dimensions.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for entrusting the national energy company of Nigeria with this significant and strategic project.
“As a commercial enterprise, NNPCL sees this project as an opportunity to monetize Nigeria’s abundant hydrocarbon resources by expanding access to energy to support economic growth, industrialization, and job creation across the African continent and beyond,” Kyari stated.
Amina Benkhadra, the Director-General of the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines of Morocco, expressed that the gathering marked a significant stride towards promoting social and economic development by ensuring energy security and accessibility. The ultimate aim is to achieve comprehensive growth and progress in Africa through the efforts of its people.